Director: Josh Boone
Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Based On A Novel By: John Green
Producers: Alison Owen, Tracey Seaward, Paul Trijbits
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell and Willem Dafoe.
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 125 min
You can tell that Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote this movie. At the very beginning of the film the main character Hazel Grace Lancaster, narrates in a similar form to the narrator in 500 days of Summer, to the audience what type of movie this will be, which is a movie without a happy ending.
Hazel Grace Lancaster is strong, fearless and is in utter acceptance, with some depression that she has stage four thyroid Cancer that has spread to her lungs. She proudly and with necessity wears her breathing tube around her face, lugging her heavy oxygen tank wherever she walks, showing the world that she can do anything a healthy person can do. 22-year-old Shailene Woodley plays Hazel’s character. Shailene plays the 16-year-old girl fairly well, as her character is supposed to seem wise beyond her years. Hazel meets Augustus Waters, played by Ansel Elgort in a group therapy meeting, to help kids and teenagers deal with their Cancer in a positive way. Gus is depicted as the wild, fun, bouncy positive to Hazel’s negative personality. These two characters are shown as two completely different people who obviously fall in love with each other throughout the movie, slightly similar to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
This film speaks to both parents who have a sick child and children and teenagers who expect to have their whole lives ahead of them, but find that their choices have been snapped away, very early in life. This movie and many others like it create much more awareness and comfort for younger people going through this illness in knowing that they are not alone. There have been other films regarding teenage Cancer before, such as Now is Good with Dakota Fanning and in all honesty they are both very similar. The Fault in Our Stars, however, makes you appreciate every moment in life and to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. This film also has many characters showing the different types of Cancer’s that teenagers can go through, which makes the existence of Cancer a lot more real to the general public. Gus, Hazel and Isaac (played by Nat Wolff), showed the different types of illnesses that can affect younger people almost making the three main characters, like The Three Musketeers, in a Goonies outcast group of friends. Because The Fault in Our Stars was originally a book it will always get a lot of attention. The movie is extremely different from the book and I believe that a lot of the changes that were made to the story really benefited the believability of the characters and pushed the plot of the movie forward in a far more interesting and stronger way.
The one scene to this film that made me sit up and take notice was with Willem Dafoe’s character, Van Houten whom is Hazel’s favourite author. Houten says some unforgivable things to both Hazel and Gus when they go to see him in Amsterdam wanting answers for the book finishing so abruptly. This unforgettable scene shows the realities of meeting someone you admire and being thoroughly disappointed, realising your idol is not whom you thought they would be like; it also showed the strength and fragility of Hazel and Gus, making the audience realise that both these characters are amazing for what they have been through and this was their one chance to have closure on a subject that they have so many questions about. Van Houten is shown as a drunk whom had not gotten over the death of his daughter. Van Houten is Hazel’s worst nightmare, his character is whom she does not want her parents to become, which is why she kept questioning Van Houten regarding what happened to the main character’s family, whom dies of Cancer, in the book she was obsessed with reading.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this film, despite the fact like many others, I was in tears almost throughout the entire movie. The film proved how all of these characters can achieve anything no matter how little time they had and hopefully gave faith to the millions watching with this fatal illness to try and enjoy every aspect of life until the very end.